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Effects of local habitat variation on the behavioral ecology of two sympatric groups of brown howler monkey (alouatta clamitans)

Jung, L, Mourthe, I, Grelle, CEV, Strier, KB and Boubli, JP 2015, 'Effects of local habitat variation on the behavioral ecology of two sympatric groups of brown howler monkey (alouatta clamitans)' , PLoS ONE, 10 (7) , e0129789.

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Although the brown howler monkey (Alouatta clamitans) is a relatively well-studied Neotropical primate, its behavioral and dietary flexibility at the intra-population level remains poorly documented. This study presents data collected on the behavior and ecology of two closely located groups of brown howlers during the same period at the RPPN Feliciano Miguel Abdala in southeastern Brazil. One group occupied a primary valley habitat, henceforth the Valley Group (VG), and the other group occupied a regenerating hillside habitat, the Hill Group (HG). We hypothesized differences in the behavior and ecological parameters between these sympatric groups due to the predicted harsher conditions on the hillside, compared to the valley. We measured several habitat parameters within the home range of both groups and collected data on the activity budget, diet and day range lengths, from August to November 2005, between dawn and dusk. In total, behavioral data were collected for 26 (318 h) and 28 (308 h) sampling days for VG and HG, respectively. As we predicted, HG spent significantly more time feeding and consumed less fruit and more leaves than VG, consistent with our finding that the hillside habitat was of lower quality. However, HG also spent less time resting and more time travelling than VG, suggesting that the monkeys had to expend more time and energy to obtain high-energy foods, such as fruits and flowers that were more widely spaced in their hill habitat. Our results revealed that different locations in this forest vary in quality and raise the question of how different groups secure their home ranges. Fine-grained comparisons such as this are important to prioritize conservation and management areas within a reserve.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1932-6203
Related URLs:
Funders: Brazilian Government
Depositing User: Dr JP Boubli
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2015 10:17
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 10:17

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